Photo ©Ryoji Iwata
On July 15, 2022, the Government issued a call for comments on the development of a model Canadian digital trade agreement. The CDCE thanks Global Affairs Canada for holding the current consultation that allows it to communicate its concerns and recommendations on Canada’s possible development of a model Canadian digital trade agreement.
CDCE’s comments focus on the need for any model digital trade agreement to include a broad exemption for measures intended to support Canadian cultural expression. Absent such an exemption, Canada would be unable to impose measures on digital trade that discriminate in favour of Canadian cultural expression. And given the economic realities of the market, such expression would then be overwhelmed by cultural products and services from other countries. Therefore, a well-worded cultural exemption must be included in any digital trade agreement.
After a reminder of Canada’s commitments to protect the diversity of cultural expressions, the CDCE highlights the importance of protecting culture in the context of digital trade. It then makes specific recommendations regarding the development of this model.